Themeefy: Curation, Plagiarism & Good Responses

I periodically ego-surf. For the uninitiated, that’s doing Google searches of your name. I’m not ashamed of it. I check myself in the mirror before I go out, after all. What’s wrong with checking on your image online, periodically too?

On just such an exercise, I came across a website that had all my 55-word story posts. I rolled my eyes and looked for a way to contact the owners to tell them they couldn’t plagiarize my content.

The website was Themeefy, a content curation app (itself a premise, I’d find very interesting). One of their users had ‘curated’ this section of my blog. My guess is that a link would normally show an excerpt. But since the content was very brief, the entire posts showed up, one per page.

I tweeted to Themeefy:

Why are entire posts from my blog appearing on @themeefy here- This isn’t sharing, it’s plagiarism. What do you think?

Less than an hour later, I received a response:

We are linking back to your blog, so it’s not plagiarism. However if you object strongly, we can delete this Themeefy Mag.

I replied,

Yes, please do. The entire post has been reproduced. It hurts the SEO of my blog to have it reappear elsewhere.

I received this message a bare five minutes later:

It’s done! πŸ™‚ Please accept sincere apologies on behalf of the user.

I think this situation happened in a grey area. Curation involves the collection, tidying up, organizing and showcasing of content. Online, it’s a little tricky. Mirroring a website’s content hurts its SEO and seems to actually do the opposite act of devaluing the original. On the other hand, the internet and indeed, blogs work on the premise of link-love.

I’ve spoken often about things that don’t work, services that don’t deliver and people who disappoint on the social media. So I wanted to make a special note of this as a case where this did NOT happen. The situation was resolved well because Themeefy was:

  • Prompt with response: An angry person gets frustrated with inaction and angrier over time. By replying immediately, Themeefy saved the situation from turning sour.
  • Polite without being servile: All of Themeefy’s communication was polite. They also pointed out that they were not doing anything wrong but would take the Mag down, if I asked.
  • Flexible: By taking my concerns into consideration, even though I am not a user, they ensured that I would actually be interested in becoming a user.

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